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Manitoba courier saving on gas where possible as prices surge: ‘It’s demoralizing and depressing’

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Manitoba courier saving on gas where possible as prices surge: ‘It’s demoralizing and depressing’
A self-employed Winnipeg courier is trying to drive smarter as gas prices push towards $2.08/L at some stations. – Jun 7, 2022

A self-employed Winnipeg courier is trying to drive smarter as gas prices push towards $2.08/L at some stations.

Brian McCarthy starts every workday at a Winnipeg depot, picking up the parcels he has to deliver.

On Tuesday, he had 30 stops to make in Carman, Morden and Winkler.

Surging gas prices are biting into his bottom line, McCarthy told Global News on Tuesday.

“It’s demoralizing and depressing because it’s obviously money out of your pocket. We have a fuel surcharge, but it always lags behind. Customers will make up most of the difference, but not all. Some just say, ‘This is too much.'”

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McCarthy, who goes through about a tank each workday, used to pay about $70 to fill up a few months ago. Now, it’s costing more than $140.

“I know I’ve got to get a couple more calls in there to make sure that I can cover that cost,” he said. “That makes a longer day, but it also means that some people are getting their product later than they’d like, and that leads to complaints.”

Click to play video: 'Gas Prices Reach New High In Winnipeg'
Gas Prices Reach New High In Winnipeg

To save on fuel, McCarthy’s cut down on idling and already uses cruise control more often. But he said that’s about all he can do until he can find an electric vehicle that suits the job.

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Companies like Red River Messenger Courier are interested in switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles, although inflation and supply chain issues aren’t on their side, president Darryl Kruk said.

“There’s no cargo vans in Winnipeg to buy, right? Like there literally is none. Cargo vans that were say three, four years old are selling for $10,000 to $15,000 higher now than when they were brand-new.”

To soften the blow at the pump, CAA Manitoba recommends changing some of your driving habits like going easy on the gas when accelerating and stopping.

“Those kinds of things can impact your fuel economy up to 39 per cent within the city,” CAA Manitoba’s manager of Government and Community Relations Heather Mack told Global News on Tuesday.

“Another thing you might want to think about is, if you’re doing highway travel – go a little slower. Most vehicles will top out in fuel efficiency around 80 km/h.”

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Staying on top of car maintenance, like keeping tires inflated properly, can also help you save money, Mack said.

But for McCarthy, making good time is key to his business as he continues to navigate a fluctuating economy.

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